Photo credit: JUMAIYAH


Jumaiyah, 32, is the co-founder of Halalfoodhunt. She believes in the importance of representation in the media for aspiring youths of all walks of life, to help them believe that success is possible for them. Today, she runs Halalfoodhunt as a food media company, focusing on consumers of halal food, and at the same time making her database for halal food accessible, available, and constantly up to date with her app that is free for the public to use.

Idealism drives goals and ambitions

I’m imagining that the person reading this is a young person filled with ambition and idealism, who sometimes (more often than you like) get reminded to be “realistic” in your plans for the future. While realism grounds you, I want you to know that it is the idealism of a young person that drives your goals and ambitions to be better than you were yesterday. Over the years, I kept the idealism within me despite what others said, and I think that this is important for us to remain hopeful for good things to come in the areas that we want to pursue.

Grit keeps you going

I didn’t learn about grit until later in my journey, when I pursued the growth of my own company and was met with many failures that I didn’t expect to come my way, such as losing a client, being played out for tens of thousands of dollars, or just having clients default on payments after you’ve completed the work they ordered.

Grit is the single most important determining factor for success, and that is to keep going, and not give up until you’ve achieved what you’ve set out to do. It is something that is honed over time and is only possible with practice and real-life experiences.

Good judgement comes from bad judgement

Have you ever second-guessed yourself? Have you ever allowed someone else to decide for you because you didn’t trust yourself enough with the decision you made?

If anything, this was the most expensive lesson for me throughout my journey – costing me $180,000. I lost that amount of money because of one reason – I made a bad judgement call. After coming out of that whole episode, it took me some time to learn to trust my judgement again. I noticed that my judgement grew to be so much better, which was only made possible because of the horrible judgements that I’d made before. Over time, this made me grow into a better decision-maker in my journey.

Manage your patience

When I was a young 25-year-old embarking on this journey of running my own media outfit, my seniors told me that I should be patient. I should be patient in seeking my success, patient with financial challenges, and patient with the challenges that come my way.

Though this advice does hold some weight, I wish I had listened to my gut, especially because our generation moves at a different speed compared to the generations before us. So, while patience is important, it is still up to us to calibrate it to the time that we are in right now. Gen Z, move fast with patience.

Self-care builds your mental strength

I was raised to be strong, independent, and ready to take on the hard tasks – but at the same time, I wasn’t raised to take care of myself. It was only as an adult that I learnt the importance of taking care of my mental wellness to build my resilience, and this can only be achieved with deliberate efforts towards self-care. I wish I had learned this earlier.

When you’re on the long road towards pursuing your goals, it is important to take mental breaks and do relaxing things that allow your mind to completely rest and rejuvenate itself. Do so regularly to always maintain a high level of mental clarity, creativity and sharpness.

Empathy inspires loyalty

One of the biggest challenges of running your own outfit or leading a team is precisely that – building a team. How do we consistently inspire people to want to be led by us? Other than having good leadership qualities, I find that people constantly want to be led by people who care for them. Over time, they also become loyal and will consistently have your back.

Humility builds relationships

I’m sure you’ve heard of “your network is your net worth”. Essentially, I’ve learnt that “network” refers to the relationships we build with people. The more relationships we build, the more valuable we are. So, I’m going to push this notion one step further – to have more meaningful relationships, we must be willing to learn from people we meet.

This willingness to learn from someone and accept that there’s always something that someone else can teach us to make us a better person is humility. I’m a work in progress when it comes to humility, and I hope to get better at it every day.

This article was published on Jan 24, 2022

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